Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Obscurity of the Day: Pete and Pinto, The Cowkids of O-Joy Ranch


Martin Branner should have been playing the ponies in 1919-20, because he sure seemed to have the golden touch. In 1919 he was contracted to produce a daily strip, Louie the Lawyer, for Bell Syndicate, and then in spring 1920 he sold a Sunday page, Pete and Pinto, to the New York Herald

Evidently not content to have two syndicates as customers, he then sold a pretty girl strip to the Chicago Tribune. That strip, of course, was Winnie Winkle, and Branner soon dropped these other two strips to concentrate all his efforts on that one, which would end up being his life's work and even outlast him. 

Pete and Pinto, The Cowkids of O-Joy Ranch, was a Katzenjammer Kids copycat with the minor twist that the action happens on a ranch out west. The gags are pretty much the standard fare, with the two rotten kids playing really nasty gags, mostly on the Chinese cook Ching. The art was the typical nice Branner crisp art -- perhaps a little bloodless and stilted (a little reminiscent of Charles Kahles) but very inviting on a large colourful Sunday page. 

Pete and Pinto debuted in the New York Herald on May 23 1920*, a mere four months before Winnie Winkle made her bow in the Chicago Tribune. Between the Herald and the Tribune, it was no secret which was the star onto which you'd want to hitch your wagon. The Herald was at this time owned by Frank Munsey, notorious for dropping comics as non-essential features when he wasn't killing newspapers entirely. Inevitably the Herald lost out and the last Pete and Pinto ran on December 5 1920*.

* Source: Ken Barker's New York Herald index in StripScene #20.


Hello Allan-
Could this series be part of what could be called a syndicate within a sydicate? It seem to me the very temporary merging of the NY Sun with the Herald which lasted less than a year, had several new strips to offer under the "Sun-Herald Corporation" name.
Another one I recall was "Percy and His Bride", an update on the Hall Room Boys, with Percy on his honeymoon, with Ferdie hanging around as friend of the family.
If I'm not mistaken, "Billy Bunk" by Inwood was another. They all came and went when the Sun took a Heraldechtomy at the end of 1920 or early in 1921.
Above by Mark Johnson.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]